Douglas Andrews / May 18, 2021

Cuomo Cashed in While New Yorkers Died

The governor hauled in $5 million for writing a book while ordering the state’s elderly to their deaths.

If ever there were a book that needed burning, Andrew Cuomo’s American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic is that book.

It’d be one thing if Cuomo merely took Rahm Emanuel’s advice and didn’t let a good crisis go to waste. Instead, he actually manufactured a crisis with his deadly mismanagement of New York’s elderly population, and then profited from it in real time with a lucrative book deal.

People died because of him. Lots of people. Moms and dads. Grandmas and grandpas. And he profited from it. Handsomely.

Cuomo’s malfeasance — his disastrous decision to return COVID-positive patients to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, thereby allowing the virus to spread like wildfire among its most vulnerable population — likely cost more than 1,000 New Yorkers their lives. (More than 15,000 New Yorkers died of COVID in nursing homes, the worst number in the country.) And his desire to make a buck in the process cost Crown Publishing $5.12 million, which, according to tax returns Cuomo made public on Monday, is how much the publishing house paid for the rights to his book on “leadership.”

Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got it right this time. “I can tell you what I think it was. I think it was state-sponsored literature,” de Blasio said on NY1. “This guy clearly depended upon public employees to do a lot of the work. And that’s not acceptable.”

As for the book, it’s hard to know who’s more gullible: the publisher, or the folks who actually shelled out good money to buy it. A total of 48,000 books have been sold, but it’s not clear how many of those were bought by immediate family or fawning underlings. As the New York Post reports, “Based on that figure, Crown Publishing paid Cuomo around $107 per copy sold of the hardcover book, which has a suggested retail price of $29.99. New copies were available on the Amazon website at a cut-rate price of $13.54 each, and an auction for a new copy on eBay had just one bid, for a measly $1.99, plus shipping.”

Even at $1.99, though, the market appears to have failed — unless the book is being marketed as kindling. The author, after all, is at once a liar, a narcissist, and a serial sexual harasser of women.

And an unrepentant one at that. Yesterday, as the Post reports, “[He] deflected, joked, and laughed before denying Monday that he’d ever had an intimate relationship with a subordinate. ‘Intimate has a number of manifestations,’ Cuomo said when asked the question by The Post. The governor then turned to Health Commissioner Howard Zucker during a news conference at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall. ‘I think we have an intimate relationship, don’t you think? Yeah, not a sexual relationship,’ he said, laughing.”

We’re not sure what’s so funny. Maybe it was a nervous laugh — the kind people sometimes force out when the walls are closing in.

Another op-ed, from another Cuomo victim, appeared just yesterday in the New York Daily News. It was written by his former press secretary while he served as HUD secretary in the Clinton administration.

“Cuomo … initially apologized for acting ‘in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,’” she writes, “but then reversed course, calling his accusers liars. He dug himself another hole last week when he told a female reporter, ‘If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable.’ So are his 10 accusers liars, uncomfortable women or uncomfortable liars?”

That’s a question for the investigators, of course. But we already know the answer.

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